Skip to main content

Full text of "The barbers' manual"

See other formats


Hollinger Corp. 
pH 8.5 

TT 960 
Copy 1 



A Treatise on the Art of Barbering, 

— BY— 
L. Howard Jones. 

Copyright, 1898, by L. Howard Jones, Findlay, Ohio. 

f Gospel Way and Food Print, McComb, Ohio. 

1 ' 




The authm- of tliis \vork ])elieves that tlie Toiiso- 
rial art, like the art of Dentistry ami rSiiruery, 
should not l)e without an elenieiitary tliough system- 
atic treatise on the principles of good workunmship. 

Jle believes that the true usefulness of such a 
treatise is npi)arent. fiuit tliose who en-:age in the 
]u-ofession will readily recognize its value, and that 
those who are serving an apprenticeship, or Avho 
conteni[)late pre[)ari ng themselves for the practice 
(,f the tonsorial t)rofession, should not be without 
this, the only treatise of its kind in existence. 

lie believes a systematic treatise on the tonsorial 
a't to be quite as useful and desirable as such a 


W(^ik could be in any other department of science. 

He believes that many who engage in, as well as 
those who contemplate preparation for the practice 
of the tonsorial art, will profit by training the mind 
in the fundamental principles which jvill not only 
simplify the work of the barber, but at the same 
time secure greater proficiency in the art, and thereby 
elevate and dignify the profession. 

He believes that the mind as well as the hands 
of the apprentice should be trained in the science of 

He believes that the training which the appren- 
tice receives while serving his apprenticeship, only 
applies in a general way to the use and preparation 
of tools, and the mechanical rudiments of the art, 
but rarely involves instructions in those fundamental 
principles which call forth and develop his artistic 
instinct. Hence, many barbers, who, although they 
have served an apprenticeship, engage in the ton- 
serial profession all their lives without evincing any 


crelitable degree of skill or meclianical ability. 
This is because only their bauds have been trained 
to do a certain tbing in a certain way, their minds 
having never been disciplined in those fundamental 
principles wbich develop the peculiar facilities of 
taste so essential in all true artists, and wbicb are in 
a great measure the crowning glory of all accom- 
plished barbers. 

It is not to present any neAV idea or innovation in 
the art of barbering, that the author has prepared 
this Manual, but to give a concise condensation of 
certain rules and suggestions which, when perma- 
nently fixed in the mind, will insure greater skill 
and artistic ability in workmanship. 

If, therefore, this work shall meet with the ac- 
ceptance which the importance of the subject de- 
mands, the author will feel that he has not written 

in vain. 


Chapter I Introduction. 

'' II Honing an<l Stropping. 

" in Preparing the Beard. 

" ly SJiaving. 

"' V Hair-cutting. 

" VI Tools. 



A Barber is one engaged in the art or business of 
shaving and trimming the beard, and cutting and 
trimming the hair. ♦ 

A Tonsorial Artist is one skilled in the art of 
shaving and trimming the beard, and cutting and 
trimming the hair. 

It will be seen from the above definitions that the 
distinction between a barber and a tonsorial artist 
is one of skill, rather than profession ; it being one 
thing to be engaged in the business of barbering, and 
quite another thing to be skilled in the art of bar- 

Many men call themselves first-class barbers, but 


few of tliein can boast of their skill in workman.sliip. 

The so-called first-class barl)er, (le2:)ends chiefly 
u|)on appearance and courtesy to please his custom- 
ers, while the accomi)lished workman combines both 
appearance and courtesy with skill and ability. 

Thus distinguished, let us inquire into the merits 
of workmanship. Let us inquire into what consti- 
tutes skilled w^orkmanship, or how one may become 
skillefl in the art of barbering. 

In contem[)lating preparation for the practice of 
this profession, or even engaging in business as a 
workman, the first thing to be taken into considera- 
tion is the natural adaptability of the individual to 
this peculiar art. 

Some men have greater natural endowments in 
certain lines tlian in others. 

As some men are natural orators, ssime are natural 
leaders, and some have natural gifts which excite the 
wonder of all mankind, it would be reasonable to 
suppose that some would have a natural gift in the art 


of bartering. But to niulce ii suc('cs>< of his tnleiits, 
every man must find liis natui'al sphere, since it 
wouhl be i<He to tliiuk of makinu' a graceful dancer 
out of a rougli andchimsy ph)uglinuin, or an expert 
penman out of a man better adM[)ted by nature to 
carrying th(> liod. 

It foUows, therefore, tliat in clioosing a trn(]e or 
profession, regard shouUl be liad for natural aihipta- 

It is not enough to admire the art, or take a fancy 
to the profession, or to engage in the business as a 
means of easy liyelihood. 

If a man simply follows a morbid inclination lo 
strike something easy, it is not at all likely that he 
will ever become fanvous as an accomplished work- 
man. His highest ambition will l)e to get the j)rice 
of the shave or hair cut. He will think littl(> of the 
satisfaction he gives, or fails to give, his customer, or 
the quality or appearance of the work he has attempt- 
ed to execute. 


Such men never make good workmen. In fact, 
they never seem to grasp any more than the formal 
rudiments of the art. They never try to improve 
their skill, but plod along as if there were nothing 
more to learn. 

On the contrary, to become an accomplished work- 
man, the one great thought should center around tl e 
idea of ideal workmanship. 

Just as the editice is formed in the mind of the 
architect before he draws his plans, or the image is 
formed in the mind of the painter before he pijrtrays 
it upon the canvas, so the result of his tonsorial skill 
should be fixed in the mind of the barber before he 
begins to operate upon his sul^ject. It is the ability 
to form this ideal of the result of his skill, that dis- 
tinguishes the accomplished workman from the ordi- 
nary barber. 

How often we see barbers, when they begin to cut 
a head of hair, whack and whack, and clip and clip, 
until they run out of hair, and are forced to quit the 


job, without leaving the customer appearing to any 
better advantage, but, if anything, looking worse on 
account ol their unskillful workmanship ! 

Such barbers, when they begin a job of hair cut- 
ting, have no idea how it should appear when finished. 
About all they think of is how quick they can " shoot 
him out," receive the price and catch another victim. 

It is evident that such barbers have had only their 
hands trained in the rather automatic use of the 
cond) and shears, their artistic faculties, if any they 
have, having never been developed or trained in the 
art of l)arbering. 

Such mechanics rarely ever become artistic in this 
line, even though they work at the trade all their 

On the other hand, the accomplished workman, 
the moment he seats a customer and ascertains his 
desire, forms in his own mind an idea of the artistic 
shape in which his work should appear when finished, 
and proceeds to carry that idea into execution. He 


thus demonstrates that his mind as well "his hands as 
has been trained in the art of barbering. 

The ability to form this idea is the highest evidence 
of natural adaptability. 

But there are other evidences of natural adapta- 
bility that should be taken into consideration. It is 
highly essential that a man's physical makeup be 
.suited to the practice of the tonsorial profession. 

Men of coarse physique, do not, as a general rule, 
make skilled workmen ; true to their physical make- 
up, tliey handle a razor very much as the woodman 
handles his axe, or the butcher handles his knife — 
from the muscle. 

Such men are not likely to acfpiire that deftness 
of touch so essential to skill in barbering. 

The profession of the barber is a most delicate one. 
No lancet should l)e keener, no stroke more unerring. 
To deftly remove the beard, one must possess a light 
and delicate hand. So, if possessed of a great hand, 
it is reasonal)ly certain that your physical makeup is 


best suited to some other sphere. 

Steady and sensitive nerves are an indispensable 
pre-requisite to good workmanship. This is especially 
true in the art of shaving. Neither a trembling hand 
nor a hand dull to tlie lightest perccptil)lc touch, can 
be trusted to wield tlie glistening razor Avith errorless 

The nerves sliould l)e so keenly sensitive to the 
lightest touch, that the barl)er can always tell just 
how his razor is working, without making use of such 
inquiries as " Does the razor pull ? " or " Is the razor 
cutting all right ? " and the like. 

Of course, this peculiar (juality of nerves must he 
acquired through practice and training, l)ut it may be 
well to understand from the beginning, that the\ are 
an indispensable prerequ-isite to skillful Avorkman- 
ship. In some res})ects, a steady nerve is natural, 
though it must l)e trained m order to bring its utility 
into activity as an element of skill. 

The steady and sensitive nerve is possessed, though 


not always understood, l)y a great many barbers. 
Many of them have a quiet nerve and steady hand, 
acquired, they know not how, but existing, never- 

t In some unconscious way they fall into the habit 
of shaving with what is called a " light hand," usually 
accompanied with a quiet, steady nerve. Evidently 
they have acquired to some degree the art of shaving. 
But that it is acquired in an unconscious way, is 
manifestly certain in every case where its acquisi- 
tion cannot be explained from a scientific point of 

For instance, some barbers, although they are far 
above the average in tonsorial skill, cannot give a 
single idea of the elements of science which enter into 
the art of barbering. In other words, they are not 
at all conversant on the art of barbering, or the con- 
stituent capabilities of an accomplished workman. 

This demonstrates two things. First, that some 
men are endowed with more or less tonsorial genius. 


which, in a great measure, supplies the place of ac- 
quired knowledge. This genius is a highly essential 
quality in every practical barber ; witliout it few men 
could Ijecome acc(nnplished workmen ; and second, 
that practice develops genius, sometimes uncon- 
sciously, but always with reasonal)le certainty. 

Where practice fails to develop genius, it is reason- 
ably certain that there is a lack of natural adapta- 
bility to the practice of the art or profession. 

It is by the failure of })ractice to deveh)p genius 
that we account for so many ])arl)ers engaging in the 
occupation many years, without attaining an 3^ credit- 
able degree of proficiency in workmanship. 

It is generally accepted that [)roficiency in tlie art 
of barl)ering, as in every other calling, is best at- 
tained by those who possess some natural gift or 
genius in that particular line. 

Since skill and speed are often confounded, some 
distinction might be here observed. 

Of course, speed implies skill in a certain sense, 


but skill does not always imply speed. Some of the 
fastest workmen may be classed among the most in- 
competent artist,-, while some of the slowest barbers 
may be classed among the most skillful workmen. 

One of the greatest mistakes a young barber can 
make is the early attempt to acquire extraordinary 

Unfortunately, a great many barbers think that 
good workmanship means the ability to shave a man 
in the space of two or three minutes. This is not 
true. Shaving and trimming the heard is a luxury, 
rather than a necessity, or if it could be called a 
necessity at all, it is such only in so far as it is neces- 
sary to satisfy the desire for this peculiar sort of 
luxury. It follows, therefore, that men have their 
beard shaved, and their hair and whiskers trimmed, 
to improve their appearance, rather than from any 
absolute necessity. 

Good workmanship, therefore, consists in the ability 
to execute a shave, or liair or whisker trim, in such 


a manner as will leave the subject appearing to the 
best advantage. 

It is to the attainment of this a1)ility that the 
efforts of the workman should be directed. All 
necessary speed will develop as the workman be- 
comes more and more accomplished. 

In shaving, the hnest workmen rarely attain an 
average speed of ten minutes to the shave, though as 
a test of speed, they could shave a man in a much 
shorter time 

In hair cutting, twenty to twenty-five minutes is 
about the average time for skillful workmen, though, 
as in the case of shaving, an ordinary hair cut could 
be executed in a much shorter time. 

In both hair cutting and shaving, it is the quality 
of the work done, and not the speed with which it is 
done, that is the true criterion of good workmanship. 



We will now take up the several parts of the ton- 
sorial art and treat them more minutely. 

In preparing for the practice of tlie barber's pro- 
fession, one of the first things the apprentice is re- 
quired to learn is how to hone a razor. This is the 
most important branch of the tonsorial art. No bar- 
ber can become an accomplished workman without 
having mastered the art of lioning. Every l)arber 
understands how to operate on the hone, yet a few 
suggestions will enable the average barl)er to under- 
stand that honing a razor is a matter of science ratlier 
than a matter of form. To understand how to hone 
a razor, therefore, is to master the greatest problem 
pertaining to the tonsorial profession. 


In learning tliis art, the first and most essential 
thing to begin with is a good hone. What consti- 
tutes a good hone is not an easy question to answer. 
A fine, sniootli, sharp-grained, fast cutting hone, has 
come to 1)6 the author's favorite. 

How much and liow often a razor should be honed, 
depends upon the nature of the hone, whether it is 
fast or slow — and the temper in the razor, whether 
hard or soft. 

While some razors require more honing than 
others, great care should be taken not to hone too 
much. Too much honing produces what is called a 
wiry edge. 

A wiry edge may be avoided by carefully testing 
the edge of the razor while honing it, and by learning 
to cease honing the moment the desired edge is ol)- 

Tlie usual method of testing the edge of a razor 
while honing it may 1)e resorted to, and must he re- 
sorted to at frequent intervals, for the purpose of 


ascertaining when the razor is sufficiently honed. 

In honing razors, the most important thing to be 
thoroughly understood, is how to tell when a razor is 
honed enough ; and the next most important thing to 
learn is to cease honing when the razor is honed 
enough. With these two things well understood and 
put into practice, the youngest l)arber should have 
little trouble in preparing his razors. 

In the selection of hones, however, it might l)e well 
to observe that the best results may be obtained from 
those classed as medium fast. The extra coarse- 
grained hone gives too rough an edge to the razor; 
the extra fine-grained hone gives too smooth an edge. 

For the purpose of this selection, hones may be 
classed as extra fast, fast, medium fast, medium fine, 
fine and extra fine. 

Numerically this classification would run as fol- 
lows : 

Class 1. — Extra fast (or coarse grain.) 
Class 2. — Fast (or coarse grain.) 


Class 3. — Medium fast (or coarse grain.) 
Class 4. — Medium fine grained. 
Class 5. — Fine grained. 
Class G. — Extra fine grained. 

Classes three and fi:nir generally give the best re- 
sults. They give the keenest and most lasting edge. 

Class two gives most too rough an edge for fine, 
smooth shaving, Avhile cdass one is only fit fi)r grinding 
thick, heavy razors, or for grinding nicks out of 
razors and the like. 

Class five will give an excellent edge, but it will 
not hold up long in heavy lieard. ^ 

Class six gives too smooth an edge for any practi- 
cal purpose. 

Razors will re(pure more or less lio.iing, according 
to the class of hone used — whether fast or fine. A 
fast hone will not require as mucli honing to sharpen 
a razor as a fine grained hone, licnce, the barber 
must note carefully the nature of his hone as a cut- 
ter, in order that he may avoid the mistake of honing 


too much ortoo long. Tlie lial»it. of honing too much 
or long is easily acquired, but hard to ovcrconje. 

A barber will take a notion to give his razors a 
good honing ; he thinks he will take plenty of time 
and get them in good shape ; so he proceeds to carry 
that notion into execution. He gives his razor a few 
strokes across the hone, aud then tests the edge. He 
finds it sufficiently sliarp, but is not satisfied, because 
he has resolved to give them a thorough honing. He 
thinks that a few more strokes across the hone will 
make it a little sliarper, so he proceeds to hone a little 
more. Again he tests the edge, and although satis- 
fied that the razor is rufhciently honed, it seems that 
he cannot, resist the temptation to give it a few more 
finishing touches. This is his first great mistake. 
Wlien he strops his razor and puts it into heavy 
beard, he finds that it does not cut easy; his razor 
seems to hang and pull. Then he imagines that 
there is something wrong with the hone, or the strop, 
or that the customer is hard to shave. He is annoy- 
ed, vexed, and frequently resorts to the strop ; spends 


a great deal of energy in stropping, finally finishes 
the shave with little satisfaction to himself and much 
less to his customer. 

What is the trouble ? Wiry edge, of course. It 
is ever thus when your razors have been honed too 

Learn to cease honing the moment your razors are 
sufficiently sharp, and you will never be troubled 
with a wiry edge or tired razors. 

We will now turn our attention to strops and 
stropping razors. 

Good workmanship requires good tools. 

A good painter can have little success with a cheap, 
shoddy brush. A good violinist will have poor suc- 
cess with an inferior violin. A good marksman will 
have poor success with an inferior gun, and so a good 
barber will have poor success with inferior tools. It 
is not enough to possess a good hone, or a good razor, 
or a good set of strops. Every barber should possess 
a full and complete set of first-class tools, without 


whicli little success can be had in high-class work- 
manship. It is as important, therefore, that a barber 
should use good strops, as it is that he should use 
good razors or a good hone. 

A barber may possess an excellent set of good 
razors, also a good hone, and superior skill in the art 
of honing, yet if he has not got a good set of strops, 
he will not be able to put that keen and delicate edge 
on a razor which good workmanship requires. 

What constitutes a good strop is a question easily 
settled. Every barbers' supply house in the country 
carries a line of good, first class strops, for the use of 
the tonsorial profession. The author's favorite set of 
strops is the Russian leather and the heavy linen 
hose. There are other strops which are just as good, 
but do not waste your time with cheap or home- 
made strops. Buy the best prepared and ready for 
use, and you will save both time and labor, as well 
as money. 

Having bought the strops, the next thing to learn 


is how to use them. The method of stropping most 
common among barbers, is, indeed, most faulty. Some 
barbers play upon the strop with their razors as they 
would upon a banjo. They seem to forget the 
mechanical effect which the use of the strop is de- 
signed to give — a keen edge. They seemed to be 

charmed with the noise they make on the strop, 
rather than by the results they obtain. The more 
pleasing their stropping sounds to the ear, the better 
they are satisfied with the stropping operation. The 
effect of this method of stropping is two-fold. First, 
ninety per cent, of the accidents attendant upon the 
stropping of razors result from this method of strop- 
ping. Second, Those who persist in this method of 
stropping, find their strops all hacked and nicked, so 
that they find it necessary to procure new strops at 
frequent intervals. Besides this, it is next to impos- 
sible to put a keen and lasting edge upon the razor 
by this method of stropping. 

Another most grievous error among barbers is the 


habit of " riding the strop." This is the case with 
those barbers who use cheap or home-made strops. 
They find it difficult to obtain the desired edge upon 
their razors. They spend a great deal of time and 
energy, and use more strength and muscle than skill, 
in stropping their razors. They forget — if they ever 
knew— that the edge of the razor is extremely deli- 
cate, and that the " hammer and tong " method of 
stropping is not the most likely to either improve it 
or preserve its keen catting qualities. No one who 
stops to think for a moment, can fail to see that tiie 
" slam-bang" method of stropping is unnecessary, if 
the barber has a complete set of first-class tools. No 
need to whip a razor to death on a good strop, in order 
to get it sharp. But there is another error in strop- 
ping very common among barbers. This is what I 
would call "whittling" the strop, or pulling the 
razor off at the side of the strop, so as to make the 
blade ring with every stroke. This method of strop- 
ping results in more cutting and haggling the strops 
than any other method employed by barbers. It is 


also very unsatisfactory in its results, because it tends 
to pull the edge of!', rather than put it on the razor. 

It is not necessary to "pound " tlie strop with the 
razor, but simply hold the strop firndy in one hand, 
and the razor firndy in the other, lay the full length 
of the razor blade across the strop, draw it briskly up 
and down the strop. This will give to the razor as 
full and perfect an edge as it is possible to obtain. 

In using this method of stropping, press the razor 
fiinily upon the strop, l)ut do not raise it off the 
strop until you are through stropping. Do not pull 
your razor off at the side of the strop, nor draw it 
diagonally across the stro}), l)ut straight up and down 
tlie strop. Let the razor move over a space of about 
twelve or sixteen inches, draw it squarely backward 
and forward over this space , draw the strop tightly 
and press the razor firmly upon the strop while strop- 
ping. This is very simple, but it is the only correct 
^ay to strop a razor. 

Experienced barbers will find this a great improve- 
ment over any other method of stropping. 



We will now take some notice of the preparation of 
the beard. 

Unless a barber is inclined to experiment, he is not 
likely to discover any essential feature in the prepa- 
tion of the beard. This is proven by the careless 
manner in which many barbers apply lather to the 
beard, preparatory to shaving it. They, or many of 
them, lather the beard very neatly and profusely, 
and to all appearance, very properly, while others 
merely daub or smear a little lather over the beard, 
and then undertake to shave the beard off without 
torturing their customer — an almost impossible thing 
to do. It makes little difference how good or sharp 


the razor, or how skillful the barber, unless the beard 
is properly prepared, the shave will leave the custom- 
er's face irritated, with a smarting and burning sen- 
sation that is anything but pleasant. 

Lathering the beard is among other things design- 
ed to make the beard soft, but the mere application 
of lather will not of itself soften the beard. 

To soften the beard, a coat of lather and a thorough 
rubbing is necessary. This rubbing will cause the 
soap and lather to work into the pores of the beard 
and make it pliable, soft and easy to cut 

The author has seen and experimented with all sorts 
of lotions and receipts for making the beard soft, and 
is, therefore, prepared to say that the most non- 
injurious and convenient method of softening the 
beard is the application of soap and lather, followed 
by a thorough rubbing, a light sponging, and then 
another thorough application of lather. 

It might be well to remark here that a " thorough 
rubbing" does not mean a scrubbing or heavy- 


handed rubbing, but, on the contrary, the rubbirg 
should be did lightly, briskly and thoroughly. Don't 
be afraid to spend from three to five minutes in 
rubbing the lather into the beard. If the lather be- 
comes stift' and dry, moisten it with a little fresh, then 
lather and continue to give a light, brisk rubbing, of 
from three to five minutes duration. Be careful and 
do not rub too hard, or too heavily, to the annoyance 
and discomfort of your customer. 

The stifter the beard the more thoroughly should 
be the rubbing process. 

If the preceding instructions as to hones and 
honing, strops and stropping, together with • the in- 
structions and suggestions here given on the prepa- 
ration of the beard are strictly followed, the heaviest 
beards cannot fail to yield, and cut as so much fur. 
Men with heavy beards wall no longer appear to be 
hard to shave ; the problem of easy shaving will be 
solved, and the third victory in the great battle for 
*the mastery of the art of barbering will be won. 


The superiority of the above method of preparing 
the beard may be demonstrated in this way : Take 
a heavy beard, and allow yourself only one or two 
minutes in lathering and rubbing it, then proceed to 
shave it ; note particularly how it cuts ; how your 
razors seem to cut in it ; whether they cut free and 
easy, or whether they seem to hang, pull, and have 
to be coaxed along. Then take another heavy beard, 
spend from three to five minutes in lathering and 
rubbing it. Rub it briskly and thoroughly, and then 
sponge and relather it, applying the lather profusely ; 
then proceed to shave it. Note the difference ; note 
how the razor parts the beard as if by magic. No 
more patent lotions, beard softeners and the like 
frauds. No more pulling, and hanging and coaxing 
the razor through the beard. No more shirking and 
dreading to shave a stiff heavy beard. All of this 
may be accomplished by the proper use of soap and 
lather — the only true method of preparing the beard 
for shaving. 


But it must be remembered that this result cannot 
be obtained without the use of pure soap. Few bar- 
bers realize how much the edge of the razor, as well 
as the softening of the beard depends upon the 
shaving soap used. 

The majority of shaving soaps contain minute par- 
ticles of gritty, impure substances. The lather dries 
quickly, aud naturally leaves a tough, leathery, gritty 
scum. Flint would not dull and turn the edge of the 
razor quicker than this gritty substance. Dull razors 
tear and irritate the delicate lace- work of the face, 
and open the way for the poison contained in cheap 
soaps to enter the system. 

Recently, a writer in one of the journals published 
in the interest of barbers, said most truly : *' Cheap 
soaps are an abomination in disguise." Instead of a 
nice, creamy, thick lather, your brush brings up from 
the cup a thin, framing substance. You might as 
well try to fly as to soften a man's beard with that 
kind of stuff. A soap that doesn't thoroughly soften 


the beard will cause the sharpest razor to pull. You 
can't explain these matters to your customer very 
well, and the consequence is he thinks you are a 
" bum " barber, and don't know how to sharpen a 
razor. What does he do? He leaves your shop, 
and, the first thing you know, reports reach you that 
you can't shave "just a little bit." 

An absolutely pure shaving soap like Williams', 
actually preserves the edge of the razor, by its pecu- 
liar softening effect upon even the most wiry beard, 
while its rich, creamy lather soothes and refreshes 
the sensitive face, and acts like a healing, cooling 

A prominent St. Louis barber, who has the reputa- 
tion of being one of the best workmen in the West, 
if not in the United States, attributes much of his 
success in the art of shaving to the use of Williams' 
shaving soap. He says : " I have tried pretty much 
every shaving soap during my career, but have never 
found anything except Williams' shaving soap that 
gave good satisfaction, either to myself or to ray cus- 


tniners. Almost always, when trying some new soap, 
my customers would immediately discover the difter- 
encc, and complain of sore faces, itching, smarting, 
,etc., and as soon as I l)egan using Williams' soap 
again, all these complaints seemed to stoj) at once. 
I have gotten through trying cheap soaps, and now 
nothing can induce me to use anything but the 'Old 
Reliable ' — Williams' shaving soap. I heartily 
recommend it as the purest, and most soothing and 
healing, and only shaving soap that will give satis- 
faction to barbers themselves and their customers." 

What is true of this skilled artist, is true of every 
barber in the United States. Williams' Barl)er's Bar 
Soap is, without exception, the best soajD made for 
barbers' use. Its remarkable durability renders it 
really the most economical soap made, for a pound 
bar of this soap will outwear a pound of any other 
soap made. It will not waste in the cup. The lather 
is rich, mild and very lasting. 

I recommend barbers to use Williams' Barber's 
Bar Soap, and to avoid the cheap, impure, green and 
unseasoned soaps, which injure their business, and 
in the end cost much more than the best. 



AVe have considered the preparation of the razor 
and the heard, and we now come to the suhject of 

By far the most delicate part of the tonsorial art 
is tliat feature which involves the practical use of the 
lazor. It is the part which most directly impresses 
itself upon the shaving public, and is, to a large ex- 
tent, the measure of good workmanship. 

Every man enjoys a good, easy sliave. 

Every barljcr should be ambitious to ac(iuii'e the 
ability to execute a good, easy, smooth shave. What 
constitutes a good sliave is not quite always fully un- 


derstood. It is not enough to be able to scrape the 
beard off with the razor. A barber must understand 
the character of the beard and the nature of every 
face. In this his natural adaptability will manifest 
itself. If the workman possesses any of these natural 
traits of understanding peculiar to the tonsorial art, 
it will not take him long to master that faculty of 
discernment which will enable him to tell or under- 
stand, the moment he seats a customer and arranges 
the linens, whether his face be extremely sensitive or 
not, and which one of two or more razors will shave 
him the easiest. 

It is a general rule, well understood among bar- 
bers, that no two men have beards exactly alike in 
every sense. Neither do we fiud any two razors 
which will work the same in all beards, nor any one 
razor that will shave any and all beards with equal 
ease. Observe^ therefore, that to learn to be a good, 
easy shaver, one must study the beard and learn to 
understand it, so that whenever he lays his hand upon 
it he will know which one of his razors will shave it 


with the greatest] ease. Bear in mind that this is a 
knowledge which must be gained by careful study and 
observation. It is one of the indispensable pre- 
requisites which every barber must master before he 
can become truly accomplished in the art of shaving. 
A barber must also understand how to handle a razor. 
Handling a razor appears to be very simple, yet, since 
every art suggests some degree of skill, the art of 
shaving naturally suggests some degree of skill in the 
use or handling of the razor. 

But skill in handling a razor does not mean any 
unnecessary parade of fancy or "monkey" motions. 
Such acts, intended as a display of skill, merely ex- 
hibits one's ignorance of the tonsorial art. Skill, 
therefore, means such dexterity in handling the razor 
as will lend grace and ease of movement. This grace 
and ease of movement can be attained only through 
continued practice. To aid the reader to its attain- 
ment, he should observe closely the following instruc- 
tions and suggestions : Never hold the razor on its 
edge and scrape as if you were raking a lawn ; this 


will spoil the edge of the sharpest razor, smart and 
burn your customer's face, and make the use of hot 
cloths and lotions necessary to allay the irritation. 

Always hold your razor firmly, but as flatly as pos- 
sible, without allowing the back of the blade to touch 
the skin. This may appear a little awkward at first, 
but the awkwardness will be overcome by diligent 
practice. Run the razor steadily and lightly through 
the beard and over the face. Do not try to make 
extra long strokes, simply because the razor seems to 
cut well. If you do, you will be likely to loose con- 
trol of either the razor or that portion of the face over 
which the razor is intended to glide, and thus pre- 
cipitate some injury to either yourself or your cus- 
tomer. Accidents will happen to the most careful 
artist, but careless attempts to overdo the thing will 
facilitate and multiply them. 

Always keep your razor strictly under your con- 
trol, so that at all times you will be able tg under- 
stand just how it is working. The short mincing 
stroke cannot be especially recommended, although 


it is used by some of the finest shavers in the pro- 
fession. It gives fifty per cent, of the sluiving })ublic 
tliat '' tired feeling," and tends to detract fronj, ratlier 
than add to, the re})ntation of the Ijarber for skill in 
shaving. As to tlie extra long stroke, it nnglit be 
well to suggest that it is one tiling to talk about 
starting a razor in front of tlic ear, at the intersC'C- 
tion of the hair and beard, and running it to the 
point of the chin without a stop, and quite another 
thing to do it. Only " fool " barbers try it — skilled 
workmen, never. 

It would be diflicult to lay down any positive rule 
on the length of the sliaving stroke, since shaving at 
the dilferent points of the face will require strokes of 
varying length. Every jjarljer, however, should 
gage his shaving stroke, so as to mrij^c it range from 
one-half to two inches in length. This is scaiiewhat 
of a choice between the extra long and short mincing 
strokes, but is, })erhaps, the most unerring, as well as 
the favorite stroke of a majority of the best workmen. 

The next most essential thin^: in the art of handlino- 

39 BARBER'S ^ 

a razor is light -baiidedness, A barber should never 
press heavily upon the face with the razor. It will 
make the face smart and burn, no matter how sharp 
the razor may be. 

Very little force should be used in urging the 
razor through the beard. If the razor is sharp, it 
will not require much more than the force of its own 
weight to send it through the beard with ease and 
dexterity. If the razor — being sharp and the beard 
properly prepared — ^w\\\ not cut free and easy, it is 
dollars to doughnuts that it is no good and should be 
thrown aside. 

Always handle your razor as lightly and as deftly 
as possible, and never shave the face close unless your 
customer expressly requests you to do Sv\ 

Never '' dig " the skin with the razor, and never 
shave against the grain — especially on the neck — 
except by the express request of your customer, as 
this sort of shaving is the primary cause of ninety 
per cent, of the sore necks and faces for which the 
barber is generally held responsible. 



Hair cutting is an art peculiar to itself. No fea- 
ture of the art of barbering is more difficult to master. 

Unlike shaving, trimming the hair requires artistic 
taste, as well as skill in execution. To become an 
artistic hair cutter, one must possess some of those 
natural gifts peculiar to the art. 

It is a general saying that good shavers do not 
make good hair cutters, and that good hair cutters 
do not make good shavers. Yet there are many bar- 
bers who are both good hair cutters and good shavers. 
The two elements are easily blended. It only re- 
quires a determination to learn, close observation and 


diligent practice, to make a good hair cutter out of a 
good shaver, or a good shaver out of a good hair 
cutter. Good hair cutting ordinarily signifies the 
ability to execute an artistic hair cut in any of the 
various styles. But styles in hair cutting are as 
varied as the human fancy, and pass by different 
names in diHerent parts of the country. LitL^e notice 
is. taken, however, of the name of the styles, the 
style passing geuerally by description, rather than 
by name. In this connection the barber should 
familiarize himself with the standard styles of hair 
cutting, so as to be able to know them cpiite as well 
})y description as by name. Having thus familiar- 
ized himself with the ditlerent styles of hair cutting, 
the next thing to learn is how to adapt these difierent 
styles to the shape of the different heads, with such 
modifications as will suit the caprice of tlie trade, for 
as was before observed, styles of hair cutting are as 
varied as the human fancy. The same style of hair 
cut, when put on ditferent heads, must — since every 
man's head diflTers from every others, in either size or 


shape — be modified to some extent, in order to set it 
offto tlie best advantage. That is to say, if you put 
a "Metropolitan" Lair cut on A., and it appears to 
good adv'antage, the same style of hair cut, when ])nt 
on B. — who has a difli?rently shaped head and a differ- 
ent quality of hair — must be moililied, in either 
length or outline, in order to make it a})pear equally 
as well on B. as on A. The degree of modification 
must be determined by the barl)ei' himself, who nuist 
call into ntility his own artistic taste and judgment. 

Very frequently barbers are called upon to cut hair 
in no particular or known style, but according to the 
directions of the customer. These directions often 
test the artistic taste and skdl of the workman. He 
has not only to grasp and cany liis customer's idea 
into execution, but must rely npon his own taste as to 
such artistic finish as will leave thejob appearing to 
the best advantage. It will be well, therefore, to 
study the principles of finishing off a hair cut in an 
artistic manner, which consists mainly in regularity 


of length and outline. 

The oiitlme of a hair cut should be regular and per- 
fect, because it is the first best evidence of good 
workmanship. The outlining of a hair cut in such a 
manner as to give to it the best appearance consistent 
with the shape of the head and neck, and the style of 
hair cut you are trying to execute, should be sought 
with great care and precision. 

Every man likes to have his hair cut in such man- 
ner as will add to his appearance. 

The first thing others will criticise or commend is 
the manner in which a haircut is finished. The 
prominence of the outlines is the thing that brings to 
one's notice the fact of the hair cut, and is sure to call 
forth either an expression of commendation or words 
of harsh criticism. The reputation of a barber as a 
hair cutter, therefore, depends largely upon the regu- 
larity and perfectness of the outlines of his work. 

The skill of a barber as a hair cutter consists in his 
ability to adapt any given style of hair cut to the 


shape of any head ; to carry the instructions of a 
customer into execution ; to give uniformity of length 
and accuracy of tapering, and to give regularity to 
the angles and outlines of the hair. 

To master these several features of skill, the barber 
must make the art of hair cutting a study, as well as 
a profession. He must be able to not only under- 
stand what is wanted, but, having understood what 
is wanted, he must be able to understand just how 
his work should look when finished, and how to work 
up to that understanding. 

We often hear gentlemen complain that the barber 
did not cut their hair to suit them. In such cases it 
is obvious that either the barber did not understand 
his business, or that he failed to observe the 
instructions given him. That he was deficient 
in skill, or negligent as to instructions, is the only 
plausible conclusion. 

There are other incidents pertaining to the art of 
hair cutting which should not be parsed without 



Something has already been said al)ont the out- 
lining of a hair cut. It might be well to further ob- 
serve that the outline or circle should not run high 
above theeai-, thus leaving a bare space between the 
edge (»f the hair and the intersection of the head and 
ear. Neither shoidd the temple line run to a point 
in fi'ont of the ear, nor straight iicross from the top 
of tlie ear. Either shows a want of artistic taste. 
The temple outline should be made to run as close to 
the ear as i)ossil)le, at the intersection of the ear and 
head ; then it should be alloAved to drop in front of 
the ear, about a quarter (U- three-eights of an inch, 
and run straight or S(piare aci'oss the temple — unless 
otherwise ordered by the customer. The above rule 
will apply as well to the semi-circle and the English 
round, as to the square temple outline. In either 
case, the drop or angle in front of the ear will vary in 
degree, according to the shape of thehead.and temp^le. 
The squaie, the semi-circle and the English round, 
may be considered standard temple outlines. They 


should not be modified other than to .suit the shape 
of tlie head and temple, except at the express request 
of the customer. 

We will DOW take some notice of the lines and 
angles extending down the sides and across the back 
o^ tlie neck. 

Where a straight line, extending from the back of 
the ear down the side of the neck is attempted, the 
barber should be careful and not allow this line to 
run from the back of the ear to a point so near the 
center of the back of the neck, as to leave only a 
little narrow sti'ip of luiir extending down tlie back 
of the head, resembling more appropriately a China- 
man's cue, than an artistic hair cut. It is true tliat 
the hair does not grow^ abundantly u^^on the neck of 
all men, so the outline on different necks will not ap- 
pear to the same advantage. A single and definite 
rule on the straight outline, therefore, would work 
rather paradoxical. 

Two rules may be laid down as sufficient to meet 
all cases. 


First. The hair should be left full on the back of 
the neck, but where tlie neck is large or broad, the 
straight outline should run sufficiently toward the 
center of the back of the neck, to give the hair cut 
the neatest possible appearance. 

Second. AVhcre the neck is thin, or the hair does 
not grow full on the sides, the straight outline should 
be cut into the hair only deep enough to make it per- 
fect, thus leaving the hair on the back of the neck as 
full as possible. In either case the lines should be 
perfectly plain and regular. 

Do not run the straight outline straight down one 
side of the neck, and allow the line on the other side 
to run at right angle toward the center of the back of 
the neck. This will spoil the good effect of the best 
hair cut. 

In making the round, square or angular outlines on 
the back of the neck, the artistic taste of the work- 
man nuist be calkd into requisition. Such outlines 
must vary according to the shape of the neck. But 
as a mark of good voikmanship, they should show a 


perfectly even edge. Care should be taken to get a 
perfect circle extending from the center of the neck 
in the back, around the sides and up to the back of 
the ear ; and where the neck is shaved square, the 
points or corners should be regular and even. Noth- 
ing will detract from the appearance of a good hair 
cut so much as irregular or lopsided lines and points 
in the back and sides of the neck. 

Aside from what has been said of the outlines of a 
hair cut, only a few practical suggestions can be given. 

The lengths to which the hair may l)e cut varies 
according to style and the instructions from the 

In cutting the hair to the varions lengths, evenness 
should be sought. The barber should never leave the 
hair full of nicks and lumps ; on the contrary the 
hair should be evenly and neatly shingled. Use the 
clippers as little as possible, and when used at all, 
always tajier the hair sufficiently to obliterate! the clip- 
per marks. Do not leave an abrupt bulge in the hair 


at the point where the clippers stop. 

Do not run the clippers high enough up the sides 
and back of the head to make it necessary to cut the 
hair on the crown of the head, close to the scalp. 

One of the most disgusting features of hair cutting 
is what may be called " crown swiping." 

Never cut the hair on the crown of .the head, close 
t) the head, unless expressly directed to do so by your 
customer, or nnless it is absolutely necessary to giye 
the best effect to the hair cut. 

Always leave the hair proportionately long, from 
the crown to the front of the head. 

It is best to learn to trim the hair, on tlie top 
of the head, through the fingers. This method of 
hair cutting gives the best satisfaction, especially in 
trimming the hair on the top and crown of the head, 
and in trimming curly hair, where the hair is to be 
left full and flowing. 

Do not trim the hair short, unless expressly direct- 
ed to do so. 


Always ascertain just how your customer wants his 
hair trimmed. Learn to form in your own mind just 
how the joli shouhl k)ok when finished, and avoid 
whackini,^ away until you run out of hair, before you 
proceed to hnisli. 

Do yoav he.-t on every liair cut ; slight no one and 
take advantage of every opportunity to improve your 
skill in workmanship. 



No mechanic can do good work Avitbout good tools. 

An accomplished workman must not only know 
how to prepare and handle tools, but must also possess 
a set of tools fit for preparation — fit for handling. 
He must be possessed of a complete set of tools of the 
very best quality. It is not enough to possess a good 
razor, or a good hone, or a good set of strops. A 
good barber should have at least a half dozen good 
razors, a good hone and a good pair of strops. 

I want to imj)ress ujion the mind of the workman 
the absolute necessity of good tools, for, I repeat, no 
mechanic can do good w^ork without good tools. * 


The Razor, Hone and Strops, are the most impor- 
tant implements in tlie barber's kit. His success as 
an accomplished workman will depend upon these 
implements, and he will find shaving quite laborious, 
if any one of them are inferior in quality. 

T have already given Sufficient instructions as to 
the selection of hones and strops. Now, as to the 
selection of razors, I would suggest the use of the four 
and live-eighth size. They are the handiest, and 
they give the best general satisfaction. Do not de- 
ceive yourself into the belief that it requires a large 
razor to shave a heavy beard. That is not true. If 
a four-eighth razor contains good metal, it will shave 
a heavy beard as deftly as a razor of any other size ; 
and the same is true of a five-eighth razor. The 
preference to the four and five-eighlh size, is on ac- 
count of their convenience in shaving in the hollows 
and wrinkles of the face and neck. They are also 
the handiest size to use in shaving around the neck, 
in many cases where the customer fails to remove his 
collar. They are preferable, because they do not 


carry a lot of dead weiglit, and hecaii?e they nre 
liglit, and enable a barl)cr to handle them with a 
lightness and deftness whieli the heavier or broader 
razor do not ailbrd. A large majority of the finest 
workmen in the tonsorial profession use the four and 
five-eighth size of razors, which is, of itself, a high 
compliment to these respective sizes. 

The Barbers' Sn]>pl5' Houses are tlie projjcr places 
for barbers to pnrcliase their razors. They carry 
the best and niost ap[)ropri;ite quality of razors for 
the nse of the profession. J^ocal hardware and other 
dealers in cutlery and shaving implements know very 
little about the merits of a razor, and are, therefore, 
the least qualified to select razors adapted to the nse 
of the barbel'. But the barbers' supply men not only 
nnderstand the merits of razors, but make a profes- 
sion of the selection and manufacture of tools and 
implements for use in the tonsorial art. They spend 
considerable time and money in improving barber 
tools, and are continually coming forward with tools 
made especially fn- the nso of barbers. They are, 


therefore, the cliaiiiiel through which Ujc barber may 
secure the best razors made. 

The barbers' trii) to the hardware store to buy a. 
razoi-, resembles very nuich tlie gentleman's trip to 
the cobbler's shop to get his bail' cut. Neither is 
likely to get the best that can be had. See the point? 
Don't; l)e afraid to Iniy good razors. Tlie best is 
always the cheapest, and no l)arber can afibrd to b.e 
without the best. 

Keep your sheais sharp, Itecause it is ahuost im- 
possible to do good work Avith adull])air <»f shears. 
But don't trust them to unskilled local grinders. The 
grinding of barber shears is an art jKculiar to itself, 
and if a barber desires his shears to work well, he 
shoul(i always have them ground by skilled grinders. 
It is best to avoid tlie use of i)atent shear sharpeners, 
except such as are recommended l)y the l)aibers' sup- 
ply firms, since they — like unskilled grinders — will 
cut your shears away, without giving you any reason- 
able degree of satisfaction. 'J'he size of the shear is 


immaterial. Every barber slioukl carry in liis kit of 
tools, two pairs of shears, of diilereiit sizes, for he will 
find it convenient to use them alternately, occasion- 
ally, and manv times he will find it convenient to 
have the nse of one pair, while the other goes to tlic 

Now, a word about combs. 

It is not necessary to carry separate coml s 
for hair cutting and hair dressing pui'poses. Tlie 
same comb used for hair cutting may be nsed for 
hair dressing also. But in selecting a hair dressing 
or hair cutting comb, regard should be had f»r its 
appropriateness to both uses. If the Ijaiber intends 
to use one comb for both hair cutting and hair dress- 
ing, he should select one embracing both coarse and 
fine parts. The fine part of the comb should have 
sufficient space between the teeth to allow the hair to 
pass through it freely. The fine part of the coml) is 
often used to edge and smooth up the hair cut, and if 
there be not sufficient space between the teeth,. it will 


not pick up the hair freely, and thereby cause con- 
siderable annoyance to the barber. 

It would be the better practice to carry with the kit 
of tools a fine neck comb, for use in trimming the neck 
and edges of the hair. Although the neck comb is 
not an indispensable implement, it is, nevertheless, 
an useful one, and should be a complement to every 
barbers' working outfit. It is also advisable to carry 
in this outfit at least two hair cutting combs, for a 
barber has no means of knowing just when he is liable 
to break a comb, or when, by some mishap, he will 
knock a few teeth out of his comb, which always 
hapj)ens at the most useful part of that tool. If he 
has two or more combs, it will cost but a trifle more, 
and save a great deal of inconvenience and annoyance. 
The clipper is an instrument which occupies a con- 
spicuous place in the barbers' outfit. Every barber 
should cany in his kit two pair of clippers — one No. 
1 , and one No. 0. As to the proper use of the clip- 
per, it is sufficient to say that it should be used as 


sparingly as possible. 

The author believes this infernally convenient de- 
vice to be the greatest curse that ever came npon the 
barbers' trade. Before the clipper was invented, the 
barber stood some chance of making a decent living 
in the profession. But the introduction of this inge- 
nious instrument has been the means of increasing the 
numl)er engaged in the profession to an alarming ex- 
tent, while its j)rivate use has decreased the nnmber 
of hair cuts, which the barber might obtain, per an- 
num, at least 30 per cent. When we add to this 
speculative loss the |)]-obabie loss resulting from the 
use of the ciip{)er in ])ar1)er shops, we w^ill find the net 
loss to be almost incalculable. The profession, there- 
fore, Avould be better oli' without the clipper than with 
it. But since it is here — and here to sta}^ — the bar- 
ber may as avcU avail himself of its practical use. I 
would suggest, however, that its use be so far restrict - 
e<:l as can be made practical, and a higher standard 
of workmanship be inaugurated. 

There is one other thina: I wish to niention before I 


conclude, and that is with reference to the use of the 
neck duster. The barber sliould iisetlie neck (bister 
freely. It is disgustingly unpleasant to have a bar- 
ber l)lowthe hair from aljout the neck and shoulders 
with an exhalation of bi'eath and air, instead of re- 
moving it by the use of the neck duster. Eveiy bar- 
ber should carry a neck duster of his own in Ids work- 
ing outfit, and use it freely whenever occasion re- 
quires it. The neck duster is especially designed for 
use while cutting the bail', to remove the loose clip- 
pings from about the neck, i\\ce and shoulders, so do 
not use your breath or the whisk broom, 1)ut instead 
nse the neck duster. It is the only proper instrument 
to use for this particular purpose. 


are essential to the successful larbevm 
No matter how ivell the trade may 
have been learned, no matter hoiu 
expert the workman, good results can- 
not be obtained tinless he has good 
tooU to \rork with. We make only the 


are alio just as e^sen'ia\ The soap, 
bay rum, hair tonic, toilet jireparations, 
etc., that you use upon your customers 
uixd be of the very best. You are al- 
ways fiute of the best if the name 
KG CHS is upon it. 



un'll tell yon that all the above if< veni 
true 'ind, if you will a><k them, they will 
ttll you that we are GOOD too. 

158-170 WELLS ST., - GHISAGO. 

We will mail you our Illustrated 
Catalogue if you will asK for it 


Barbers' Chairs 


The^^e chair.^ are noiv being ii-wd ivifli jxt- 
- feet satisfaction, in leading harher .^lio]).^ all 
over the country. Thei/ tvere airardrd the 
medal at the NasJin/fe Centennla/ E.ipo^'^t- 
tion, and are geiteraih/ reeogni^ed as the 
leading chairs on. the market. 


Columbia Cli<iis :-, 
Mirror Casis, 


Barbers' Fiirnilure. 

Theo. A. Koclis Company, 

158-170 Wells Street, - Chicago; 

fis^^VVhen you are roa'ly to open ynnr 
sliop, we shall be ple;ise«i tu biib- 
mit an estimate of the cost. : 

A close: shave: 

-")MN PR ice: i^- 



All article for $20 which does the same 
v,'ork as other Machines costing $100. 

Solid US your name and address, and let ns tell you 
nil al)out our $20 l\pevvriter. It is ciuickly learned, 
i;> easy to operate, ^vill not ^et out of order, and does 
eyerytliinu- any $100 typewriter will do. 

AVe haye thousands of testimonials to prove all we 
claim for the 



Oclell Type Writer Co., 

358=364 Dearborn 5i,, = Chicago, !!!. 


V« */' 

Used by all the Leading and Success- Cf (f^ ¥M "W' 
fill Berbers all over the ]]\)rld. j 


Stai^dard of t'k}^ lilorld. 


^he great henl.r of ^^^ rp^^ FAYOf^ITE 

Tender Faces. ^^^2X\ ^F THE PEOPLE 

Gli:istoi/.burv, Cop,!]. 


f liPlil 


Iiii^:h Grade. 


We Have uo Agents but Sell DSrect 

to the Rider at Mapufcctiucr's 

Prices, SavSng- Voa aSi 

Agent's Prot'ta. 

Best materials, Superb finish. Eiglit 
eletjnnt models. We ship any whe-re with 
priv'leg'e of examination, \>?.y express 
char-es both ways and rclui.d your 
nionty if not as represented. Kverv 
"Acme" is fulhi (•varanUcd fuiahisi 
(1,1. Arciderits as well as l'cf>'C.iive Work- 
man^liip. Send n-r catalogue. 


502 Msjfl St., = 

,E CO-, 



In the pages following it has been my intention 
to illustrate and present a set of rules that will at all 
times be a guide both while learning and after com- 
pleting the barber trade. I have tried to present a 
system thorough and simple, illustrating in detail the 
requirements for the real tonsorial artist and the 
training necessary to familiarize him with the 
technical details of this profession. 

By reason of my six years of constant teaching and 
my fifteen years of service at the chair, I feel that no 
one has had a better opportunity to practice and 
study the work that I now lay before you. 

I hope to make this book of more than ordinary- 
service to you, and by following its instructions 
closely, combined with the advantages our colleges 
offer, there is no chance for failure. 




Ill considering- the idea of becoming- a barber, the 
first question that presents itself is : What are the 
requirements necessary in order to insure success after 
laboring- at this work ? Will my nervous system per- 
mit of handling- the razor ? Will the nature of work I 
have done in the past bar me from this profession? Are 
my mental propensities such that they will allow me 
to wait upon others with patience and with solicitude 
for their welfare ? The question is often asked by 
those preparing^ to take up the work, "Will I make 
a barber?" There is but one answer to this, 
and that is, have 3'ou the patience and energ-y to 
practice dilig^ently at the work until you have thor- 
oug-hly mastered it, providing- you have at your dis- 
posal the opportunity for constant practice and the 
assistance of skillful instructors ? 

6 Thk Barbers' Manual. 

There is no part of the barber trade that is impos- 
sible for anyone with ordinary ability. No man is 
too nervous to take up this trade as it is part of your 
education while a student to overcome your nervous 
temperament. Proper practice, (of which we shall 
g"ive you a description in the folio wing^ pag-es) is sure 
to overcome all disadvantages in this line, but we 
would advise that no person take up this work who 
has not first made up his mind to become a public 
servant, to be patient and painstaking- with custom- 
ers, and to be always pleasant and agreeable. 

This is not a work that requires any special adap- 
tation, but like every other trade that is mechanical, it 
is one that requires practice. Some will tell you that 
you can never become a barber if you are not gifted 
with particular talents, but it has been demonstrated 
that the most awkward beginners often make the most 
graceful g-raduates. Grace and ease of motion are 
acquired bj' the continued using of certain muscles. 

Good taste has much to do with proper hair cutting- 
and the different styles of this work must necessarilj- 
be a study. No man is naturally gifted with ability 
to trim hair gracefully, and each one must practice 
and study this work alike. While some are more apt 
and painstaking than others, every one can follow 
examples and directions laid down by instructors. 
Thus you see. no person of sound mind and ordinary 
ability need exclude themselves from this trade if 
thcA' are willing to applj'^ themselves to the work. 

Thk Bakkkks' Manua].. 7 

Carelessness has no ylace in barber business, and 
no one will succeed either in business for himself or 
as a journeyman, who is not both careful in his owti 
appearance as well as that of his shop. 

8 Thr Barbers' Manuai,. 

PART 11. 

Good tools in every mechanical trade have much 
to do with the tradesman's success. This is particu- 
larly true of the Barber Trade. No one can be a 
first-class workman without tirst-class tools kept in 
proper order. We too often find tradesmen trying- to 
apply their skill with tools wholU' unfit for their 


In the selection of a Barber's Outfit one of the essential thing's is the Razor. Many times a 
perfect razor is condemned by the workman who has 
not g-iven it a satisfactory trial or honed it down to a 
perfect edg-e. New razors are never honed in perfect 
condition, and every razor when first purchased should 
be g-iven, at least, a weeks' trial before being- con- 
demned. No one can tell perfect steel from the looks 
of it unless it has been burned in g-rinding-, which 
would cause it to show black spots, such spots as we 
sometimes find in a chisel or plow shear. In select- 
ingf a razor, as far as the steel is concerned, this is 
the only thing to look for. You will never be able to 
discover whether your razor is too soft or too hard 
from shaving^ or honing^ it, as there arejtoo many con- 
ditions which aifect a razor while in process of sharp- 
ening. The fact that a razor sharpens slowly or that 

Thk Barbkks' Manuai.. 9 

it takes time to bring- it to an edge is no indication 
that the steel is hard or soft, one reason being- a razor 
may have but little concave and therefore so much of 
the blade strikes the hone that it naturally cuts away 
slowly. It is an easy matter, however, to' detect g-ood 
or poor workmanship in the manufacture of this tool. 


A full concave razor is one that is hollowed out in 
such a manner as to leave the thinnest part of the 
blade l)etween the back of the razor and the edg-e. 
This leaves a bulge, or thicker part between the edge 
and the thinner portion of the razor, and can be de- 
tected by rubbing with finger and thumb down the 
sides of the blade as shown in the cut. 

10 The Barber."^' Manual. 

A half and three-quarter concave have less of 
a hollow grind as described. The full concave 
is the most expensive style of g-rinding- we have, 
and is only used in a hig-h* grade razor. It is 
the most desirable as it lightens the weight of 
the blade according to the width of it, and 
requires less honing and stropping to sharpen 
the same. 

In selecting tools never stick to certain brands 
simply because they have been recommended, for 
nearly every well known razor has cheap imi- 
tations. The five-eighth size is ordinarily the 
most convenient and, although, it is a little 
larger than most barbers prefer, the razor al- 
ways grows smaller instead of larger, and it is 
best to guard against getting them too small to begin 

The quality of shears can be tested by a close ex- 
amination of the blades. In the cheaper qualities, or 
what is known as the steel laid, only a small portion 
of the blade is solid steel. This quality of shears is 
usually heavier in proportion to the length than those 
of the grade known as full steel. In nearly every 
cheap grade of shears, by examining the inside of 
the blades, you will see a diiferent color in the metal 
at the point where the iron and steel are welded to- 

Thk JBarbeks" Manttai,. 11 

g-ether. A steel laid shear, as a rule, gives g^ood ser- 
vice as long- as it lasts, but it is not as durable as one 
made entirely of steel. The full steel shear usually 
has thin, narrow blades that are sprung in such a 
shape that when the shears are closed the two blades 
only touch each other at the point. A non-exper- 
ienced man is often liable to mistake this as a flaw, 
but a shear, in order to cut properly at the point, 
must have this spring or set. The patent burr fas- 
teners as a rule are of little advantage, as a shear 
must be ground and set at intervals during its ser- 
vice. Never try to sharpen your own shears or tighten 
the screws, as in this way you are apt to spring the 
blades and make them entirelj' useless. It costs but 
a small ainount to have your shears well ground, and 
well ground shears are as essential to good work as a 
properly ground razor. Never give your shears to 
the street grinders, nor try them on any shear sharp- 
ening device. When a shear becomes too smooth, it 
can sometimes be wired a trifle b3' rubbing it over a 
rough hone or piece of steel, but this should not be 
practiced often. The blades must be roughed to a 
certain extent in order to keep the hair from slipping 
out when the blades come together. 

The cheaper grade of shears, as a rule, have the 
black japanned handles, while the higher grades are 
nickle handled and highly polished. A seven, seven 
and one-half, and eight inch shear are the most con- 
venient sizes for barbers use. 

12 The Bakbhks' Mvnuai:,. 


There are many different g-rades and qualities of 
hones, and no doubt the opinion of barbers varies 
in regfard to this article more than in reg^ard to any 
other tool in the barbers kit. The German Water 
Hone is the oldest style, or the tirst razor hone used. 
They still are considered by n any to be the best hone 
in the market. There is certainly nothing- that will 
compare with them for the apprentice, as they cut slow 
and never overhone, as does the coarser and faster 
cutting- stones. It usually requires a little more time 
to cut a razor to an edg-e on this stone, but once to an 
■edg-e it keeps it in the same condition without dam- 
ag-ing- the blade. 

In using- the oil or lather hone, more care should 
be taken to prevent "' overhoning-." for when the 
razor is honed to an edg-e, it will, with more honing-, 
•crumble or break away to what is known as the wire 
edg^e. The lather hones are of many different quali- 
ties, and it is something- of a g-amble to g-et a perfect 
hone. The^' var3' g-reatly in prices according- to quality. 

The Swatty, the same as the" lather stone, is 
fast cutting-, and is probabh- the hardest hone to 
work with, althoug-h it bring-s a razor to an edg-e 
quickly. An apprentice would seldom be successful, 
with this style of hone. They are hig-hly recom- 
mended by the expert or old barber, but should never 
be recommended to a beg-inner. 

Thk Bakbeks" Manuai,. 13 

Strops should always be used in pairs, canvas and 
leather. The canvas is the one you first apply to the 
razor, and finish it with the smooth leather strop. 
Razors in constant stropping, on a leather strop, be- 
come too smooth, and require a certain amount of 
use on the canvas. This is in order to roug-hen or 
draw out the edg-e, and when properly stropped they 
require less honing-. The higfher g^rade of canvas 
strop is made of seamless hose, and can be used on 
either side. You should be careful to keep canvas 
strops dry as dampness swells the g-rain androug-hens 
the strop. The better qualit3' are usually made of 
linen, the smooth and tig-htly woven quality. The 
cheaper g-rades are sometimes of canvas, and are 
known as the flat web. They are of a sing-le thick- 
ness, less durable, and can be used- only on one side. 
Some cheaper g-rades are also made of cotton. Can- 
vas strops in constant use g-ather dust and g-rit which 
should be cleaned ofl^ by applying- a little lather and 
immediatelv scraping^ it ofi^ with the blade of the 
shear, or a similar blunt instrument. Grit on a can- 
vas strop will do much damage to a razor, and should 
be watched for closel5^ In breaking- in a new strop, 
the grain should first be filled with beeswax or soap, 
and this should be rubbed in thoroughly with a bottle 
or a similar instrument. There is considerable labor 
attached to preparing a pair of strops. 

14 The Barbers' Manuai,. 

In selecting- a leather strop, Russia leather is 
usually most desirable, althougfh the most expensive, 
and is a toug-h, thick, servicable leather. It is 
usually told by the smell, and by the g^rain 
on the back of the strop. It requires some 
time to prepare a Russia leather strop for service, 
but vs^hen once broken in, it will last a lifetime, and 
is not easy to cut. The strop should be prepared by 
putting- thick lather on the surface, and rubbing- it in 
well, in the same manner as the canvas strop. From 
live to ten minutes should be spent on a Russia 
leather strop every day for two or three weeks. The 
labor required in preparing- this strop is worth more 
than the strop itself. Many old barbers possess 
strops worth from |5.00 to |25.00. A Russia leather 
improves with ag-e, A pig- skin strop is of the same 
nature, and should be broken in in the same way, 
it is most favored by some barbers, and although not 
quite as durable, it is more easily prepared. These 
strops are never made in cheap qualities, there being 
but two g-rades, medium and heavy. * 

The horsehide strop is made of many diflFerent 
qualities, and sells at different prices. The shell, or 
horsetail is probably the best of this class. It is 
always smooth, never requires finishing- or breaking- 
in, and is of a thinner or lig-hter g-rade. This is the 
most durable of 4iorsehide strops. The other quali- 
ties are cheaper g-rades or of a softer material, and 
usually draw or hang- to the razor in stropping. 

The Barbers' ManuaIv. 15 

This quality of strops usually requires more work to 
put a razor in condition, and they are less service- 
able. They are easily cut and short lived. When 
they once beg-in to work roug-h, there is no remedy 
for them. 


(3f the stricth' high grade clippers there are but 
few brands to select from. Clippers are constantly 
chang-ing and being improved upon, and like all 
classes of machinery, they soon become old style. 
Among the latest improvements there is one called 
the "pull spring-." It is prompt in action, strong 
and serviceable, and can be adjusted to most any 
hand. This spring is found in but two brands of 
clippers. The adjusting blade made to cut different 
lengths is of little or no use, for its work is ragged, 
and gives the hair the appearance of three or four 
weeks growth. The only care that is necessary for 
this grade of clippers is that the3^ should be kept well 
oiled, and when once properly adjusted, should be 
left in that state. It is bad policj^ to readjust the 
machine, except when it must be taken apart and 
cleaned. The plates should be wiped off about once a 
month, or should be washed out without readjusting 
by working kerosene through them. Sewing machine 
or bicycle oil is the best to use. This grade of 
machine can be made to cut two lengths by sim- 
ply turning it over in the hand and using it for the 

16 The Barbrks* Manuai,. 

neck or "00" clipper. This saves the necessity' of 
two pairs of clippers. 

Among^ the cheaper g-rades the brands are numer- 
ous, and all of about the same quality. Some have 
the spring- in the handles, others have the concealed 
spring in the blades. They are so constructed that 
they will cut but one leng-th, and in doing the nicer 
part of the work it would be necessary to have a 
short or an "0 " clipper besides the regulation leng-th 
of an eig-hth inch. These clippers, like the higher 
grade, should be thoroughly cleaned and oiled about 
once a month, or according to the amount of work 
being done. 


In the selection of combs, the " hand made " bone 
comb is preferable. It should be a tapering comb of 
medium size, and one that can be well handled in 
long or short hair. A neck comb is usually consid- 
ered unnecessary where the comb is tapered from a 
coarser to finer teeth. 

Aluminum combs are considered by some the most 
convenient, but there is an objection to this style of 
comb, as the teeth often come in contact with the 
blade of your shears. 

Among the cheaper grades are the " machine 
made" horn combs, which are usually more blunt 
and less convenient. The heavy rubber combs are of 
no service to the barber on account of their thick- 

ThK liAKHHKS' MANliAl.. 17 

Celluloid combs are tif Jio v^ahie. for in siTii^eiui;- 
hair thev are liable" to catch tire. 

Great care should be taken to keep a comb per- 
fectly clean. Thread or string is ver^' handy in 
cleaning- it. Take a half a dozen or dozen threads 
fastened at both ends and comb throug-h them until 
teeth are thoroug-hly cleaned. 


A tool case is not an absolute necessity, but is 
very convenient for carrying or keeping in place your 
outfit. The best quality is leather and it should have 
a sufticient number of pockets to carry all tools of 
your outfit. The cheaper qualities are made of can- 
vass and can be obtained in any size desired. 


No barber should work at the chair without a 
jacket, as it looks unprofessional and untidy to see a 
barber at a chair in his shirt sleeves or wearing the 
old style apron. 

The better quality of jackets are made of duck and 
have sometimes striped pockets and collar, or they 
are often made up of black and white goods. The 
regulation barber's coat, how^ever, is plain white and 
is probably the neatest that can be had. 

Cheaper qualities are of drill. In selecting a 
jacket do not make the mistake of getting a waiter's 
jacket which is a short coat of the same material, but 

18 The Barbers' Manuai,. 

without the convenient pockets of the barber's coat. 
Always select a jacket with a collar and witli detach- 
able buttons. 

The above named articles are all that are neces- 
sary for a journeyman's outfit, but in conducting- a 
shop for yourself more tools are necessary and great 
care should be taken in selecting- good bristle lirushes 
for the hair. Barbers are too often negligent as to 
the care of their brushes, allowing them to become 
dirty and greasy and unfit for use. A hair brush 
should be cleaned thoroughly, at least, once a month. 
The best way of cleaning the brush is by using 
strong ammonia water or sea foam, rubbing the pre- 
paration thoroughly through the bristles, and with a 
coarse comb clean out all the dandruff, etc., from 
among the bristles. After the brush has been thor- 
oughU' cleaned and rinsed, tap it lightU' on the 
bristles until dry. 

The most servicable and probably the best lather 
l)rushes are those whose bristles are set in vulcan- 
ized rubber. The soft camel hair brush is of no ser- 
vice to the barber as it becomes too soft when in 
constant use. 

leather brushes as well as cups should be thor- 
oughly rinsed before or after each shave. 


Sterilizing your razors is a very important feature 
in the barber business, also the use of antiseptics for 

Thk Barbers' Manual 19 

your brushes, cups and strops. In this care of tools, 
much neg-lect has been shown among- past members 
of the fraternity, oftentimes with disastrous results. 
Your patronag-e can be increased by strict attention 
to this one important feature. This process should 
be resorted to as often as seems necessary. After 
working- over a sore face, or what we may term a 
syphilitic subject, wash your hands in a mild solu- 
tion of Bichloride of Mercury. If you have no steam 
sterilizer, your razors can be dipped or boiled with- 
out injury to them in the same solution. 

Steam sterilizers are much, preferable and can be 
secured as cheap as 75 cents. Place your mug-s, lather 
brushes, and hair brushes in water at a temperature 
of about 150 degrees. Strops also may be treated the 
same way and afterwards oiled with carbonized vase- 
line. Strops will need this process very seldom. 

20 Thk Bakbeks' Maniiai,. 



The sequel to a barber's success as far as shaving^ 
is concerned lies in honing" and stropping" the razor. 
This is not a g"reat task when proper instructions are 
g-iven or when care is taken to hone at the proper 
time or strop suflficiently while the razor is in use. 
No deep art or mystery lies in this part of the profes- 
sion as tnany barbers who have never been properly 
taug^ht, are inclined to believe. Many first-class 
workmen, g-ood in ever^' other part of the work, sel- 
dom have a sharp razor, and ag-ain, no barber has 
become so proficient that at all times he has his razor 
sharp. There are so many different conditions of 
atmosphere, heat and cold, etc., which effect the edge 
of the razor that it is practically an impossibility to 
keep one razor always in condition, but there can be 
no plausible excuse for a man with two or three 
razors not having one of them alwayvS with a keen 


No matter what hone is vised, honing is always 
done in the same way and the same method of testing 
the edge is applied, but with each style of hone the 
edge has an entirely different feeling- and it is always 
best to become accustomed to one stone and learn the 

The Barbers' Manuai,, 


peculiarities of its work. Never try to hone a razor 
with a nick in it, nor with an extremely blunt edge 
as it is impossible to keep a smooth straig^ht edge 
when it is necessary' to cut the razor down to any 
extent. Razors in this condition should always be 
sent to the grinder with instructions as to what style 
of grind or concave is required. 

In beginning your work, first prepare your hone. 
In using the water hone see that it is perfectly clean 

and free from dirt or grease, then wet the rubber 
with moderately warm water, also see that the hone 
is not extremely cold nor hot, as the temperature will 
have much to do in drawing out or extending the 
edge of the blade. Prepare your hone with a thick 
grit or lather by rubbing the hone proper, with the 
rubber and always keeping it moist. L<ay the razor 
perfectly flat on the hone and draw toward the edge 

22 The Bakbers' Manuai.. 

diag-onally from the heel to the point as shown in cut. 
Turn the razor on the back without lifting it from 
the hone and slide into position for the other side- 
Hold the razor with the first fing-er on the shank of 
the blade in such a way as to turn it freely in the 
hand and so that the entire length of the blade will 
be honed alike. It will require some practice to 
become handy in turning the razor. Work slowly 
and with some old useless razor until you have mast- 
ered the stroke. A slight mistake on the hone could 
easily ruin a high grade razor. 

Testing the edge of a razor is done by wetting the 
thumb or finger nail and drawing the edge of the 
razor over the thumb or nail with just enough heft 
to allow it to cut in or slide over the nail. If the 
razor has a blunt thick edge, it will slide over the nail 
without cutting. This will signify that it needs 
more honing to bring it to the proper condition. If 
the razor cuts into the nail irregularly with a rough 
grating feeling this signifies that the razor has a 
rough, wiry edge and requires more honing. The 
razor when in perfect condition will draw into the 
nail with a keen smooth edge. You cannot be 
deceived in this test when you become sufficiently 
acquainted with the edge to detect the different feel- 
ings. This test should be used only in honing and 
not in stropping, as after the razor is stropped, it has 
an entirely different feeling and would slide over the 
nail as though greased. 

The Bakbkks" Manuaj,. 23 

In using- the s\vatt3' or leather hone, mix a thick- 
lather and apply to the hone, always keeping- it well 
moistened with the substance. 

It is not to be supposed that you will become a 
skillful honer without the necessary practice and 
instruction, and much depends on the stropping^ 
after leaving- the hone. A razor will not always take 
t lie same style of an edg-e. xVs stated, it sometimes 
depends on the atmosphere or heat and cold. If diffi- 
culty is met with in g-etting- the required edg-e, it 
oftentimes is a benefit to laj^ the razor by for a short 
time and allow the temperature to make the chang-e. 
At times five minutes work will do more for you in 
sharpening- a razor than an hour at other times. 
Thus you will see no man is always master of this art, 


After a razor is properly honed it should be 
stropped very little, if any, on the canvass strop. If 
a razor seems to have taken too smooth an edg-e. it 
can be roug-hed a little with the canvas strop and 
then smoothed to the proper condition on the leather, 
or if a razor seems to be left a little too roug-h by the 
hone it sometimes can be stropped to a better condi- 
tion on the canvas. The main object being- to bring- 
it to the keen, yet^ smooth edg-e. A razor can be 
smooth, and not keen and sharp or can be too smooth- 
but never too sharp. 

24 Thr Barbers' Manuai.. 

Every barber has his pet razor, for with this par- 
ticular one he has learned the requirements in honing- 
and stropping-. Considerable practice is necessary to 
become easy and graceful in stropping. The razor 
should be held in such a wa^' as to allow it to turn in 
the hand easily and always be wiped over the strop 
perfectly flat with back of blade as well as edge 
placed tight on the leather. Turn it on the back 
without lifting it from the strop, and as in honing", 
do this work slowly and carefully until you have 
become proficient in the motion. The best class of 
barbers never try to play tunes with their razor and 
strops, as is often seen among those who care more 
for making- a show* than for the edge of the razor. 
More stropping- is necessary with a freshly honed 
razor than one that has shaved a half dozen beards. 
A razor just off from the hone is usuall,v a little roug-h 
and irritating to the face and should be first used on 
a lig^ht beard. It is poor policy for a barber to hone 
up all of his razors at once, or even more than one at 
a time, for it is necessary to have, at least, one razor 
always ready for any sort of beard that comes in. 
It is sometimes good policy for a barber to have a 
strop filled with emery flour or razor paste. When 
the edges become too smooth and you have no time 
for honing, a few strokes on tlie coarse strop will 
draw out the blunt edge. This should not be prac- 
ticed often, however, and onU- with a razor that has 
shaved fortv or fifty men without honing. 

The BarbeRvS' Manuai,. 25 

Razors have been known to shave 500 men with 
stropping- only, and agfain the same razor would not 
hold an edg-e for a half dozen beards. It is not always 
the fault of the barber. 

2(1 Thk Barbkks' Manuai^. 



Shaving^ is an art. Proficiency in this work can- 
not be obtained without much practice, and while you 
will be benefitted much by following these rules, 
practical demonstration is the most essential g-uide. 

In preparing- a customer for a shave, first thor- 
oughly rinse the brush and cup with warm water to 
prevent the spreading- of disease. A thick, creamj^ 
lather should be mixed, just stiff enough to be 
handled nicely on the face. If left too thin, it is apt 
to run down the neck or on to the collar. Many bar- 
bers say it is impossible to learn even how to lather 
in the length of time our College proposes to teach 
the trade, and it is very true that some men do not 
learn this work well. While there is no skill to be 
displayed in lathering, a barber must always be care- 
ful and painstaking in this work. The barber that 
will not be thoughtful enough to do this work should 
need never to expect to claim custom, as this is the 
first impression made upon the customer. The face 
should be lathered by applying the brush in a circu- 
lar motion, which allows the brush to brew lather of 
itself. The beginner is apt to handle the lather 
brush as the the painter does the paint brush. Care 

Thk Barbers' Manuai,. 27 

must be taken not to allow the lather to work into the 
mouth, nose or ears. 

After applying- the lather, rub it lig-htly into the 
beard, and remember that whether the beard be hard 
or soft, lig-ht rubbing answers the same purpose. It 
will be your first impression, that if the beard is 
thick and heavy, it will require hard rubbing. Bear 
in mind that every man's face is tender, and should 
be handled carefully. 

The beard should be rubbed from two to ten min- 
utes, according- to the growth of hair. Where the 
beard is dirtj' and full of grit, after thoroughly rub- 
bing it, the lather should be wiped oif with a wet 
towel, and a new coat of lather applied. This will 
only be necessary' in extreme cases. 

Always see that your customer is in an easy, com- 
fortable position in the chair, and do not lower the 
head rest eonugh to cramp the persons neck. The 
skin must be always left loose so that it can be drawn 
in any position required while under the razor. 

Do not make the mistake of stropping your razor 
when you have nothing else to do, thinking it will be 
ready for use when you have prepared the beard. A 
razor must always be stropped just before using it. 
The philosophy of this is, the friction in stropping 
heats the steel and expands it, leaving a smoother 
edge than the blade naturally has when cool. While 
the heat given the razor is not the onh^ benefit, it 


Thk Bakbeks' Manual. 

explains the the theory of stropping" just before 

Always beg-in the shave on the rig-ht hand side, 
draw the razor down with a slanting- stroke, as 
shown in cut. The razor must be handled in such a 
manner as to allow it to saw across the beard instead 

of pulling- straig-ht. This motion is what makes 
shaving- an art. The stroke will be found very diflfi- 
cult for a beg-inner, but by studying^ this motion 
while practicing^, much time will be saved. After 
the side of the face has been shaved as far as the cor- 
ner of the mouth, it is neccvssary to use what we call 

Thr Bakbkrs* M ami a I, 


the back handed stroke. This is done by turn ing^ the 
hand as shown in cut, and is considered more diffi- 
cult than the free arm motion. In order to master 


this, the first exercise is to throw the elbow up nearly 
even with the shoulder and turn the back of the hand 
directly from you. The mistake is usually made of 
crowding^ the elbow down close to the side, or allow- 


The Barbers' Manuai,. 

iug- the arm to rest on the customers chest, thus per- 
mitting^ the razor to drag instead of being carried 
with a gliding stroke from point to heel. This 
stroke is used on the side of the chin, and with the 
same motion run down to the point of the chin, tak- 
ing off the balance of the beard as low as the jaw 
bone. From this point the free arm motion is used 
again on the side of the neck as far down as the 

grain runs. Care must be taken not to allow the 
razor to go against the grain. In shaving the lower 
part of the neck, it will be necessary for you to step 
around behind your chair and draw the skin up with 
the thumb and down with the fingers as shown in 
the cut, so that it will be perfectly tight on the part 
of the neck which is being shaved. You are apt to 
make a mistake, by allowing your fingers to become 

Thk Bakbsrs' Manual. 31 

damp and slippery, and have difficulty in drawing- the 
skin tig-ht under your hand. Be sure that your fin- 
g-ers are always dry, and the face shaved clean as far 
as you g-o, not allowing bits of lather to remain .scat- 
tered over the shaved portion of the face. 

When the side of the face nearest you has been 
shaved, turn the head on the head rest by liftings it 
from underneath, and not pushing- it over as though 
handling- a block of wood. In shaving- the upper 
part of the face on the opposite side, it is necessary 
to use the back handed motion and chang-e to the free 
handed stroke in shaving- the chin. When this is 
completed, turn the face straig-ht up, shaving- directly 
across the chin with the diag-onal stroke, then shave 
underneath as far down as the grain of the hair runs. 
Next, turn the face toward you and shave the oppo- 
site side of the neck down with the back handed 
stroke keeping- with the grain. Shave the lower part 
of the neck 'as was done on the opposite side. This 
part of the shave is the most particular, and should 
be handled with the most care. 

After shaving one side of the face, the razor 
should be restropped, or even often er if it is not g-iv- 
ing- satisfaction. It is well to ask your customer if 
the razor hurts the face, as a barber is never sure 
just what satisfaction his work is giving-. A razor 
mig-ht be cutting- the beard nicely, but still roug-h 
enoug-h to irritate the face, and this might not be 
detected by the workman. 


Thk Barbeks' ManitaIv. 

After completing- the shave the first time over, 
strop again. In shaving- the second time over, with 
a tender face, it is best to take the towel and wash 

the face, getting all the soap off the skin in order to 
prevent irritation. This will be necessar}' only with 
fender faces. Wet the hand by using- water bottle as 
shown in cut. Wet one side of the face at a time 

The Barbeks' Manuai^. 33 

with your hand and shave the second time over side 
ways to the grain, and not directly ag-ainst it as 
many barbers have been taug-ht to do. Never, under 
any circumstances, shave up under the jaw bone 
against the g^rain as few faces can stand this torture 
when they' indulg^e in a shave oftener than once or 
twice a week. This work can be done without anj' 
extreme pain on ordinary faces, but it soon leads to 
irritation, in-grown hairs and eruptions of the skin. 

It is the custom of most men who shave every day 
or every other day to shave but once over. Few men 
want a close shave, but every man wants it smooth 
and even. I Do not leave roug-h patches, and do as little 
work as possible the second time over. Manj^ wa3's 
are in vogue for washing- and drying- the face after 
the shave. The best care that can be taken of the 
tender face is to apply two or three hot towels. Fold 
the towels in such a way that they can be drawn over 
the face and allowed to remain and steam or soak the 
face. This removes all inflammation and unpleasant 
feeling-. After washing the face, including- the fore- 
head and eyes, in this manner, apply either bay rum 
or witch hazel, never both. Ba^^ rum will smart 
while witch hazel is cooling- and soothing-. The cus 
tomer should always have his choice of cosmetics . 
Dr3^ the face by first placing the towel over the face 
and rubbing the hands over the towel, then take up 
the towel and dry the face as you would in wiping 
your own face, using care that the towel is never 

34 The Barbers' Manuai,. 

wiped over the face ag-ainst the grain. Be cautious 
in drying- around the ears and corner of the mouth 
and be sure to dry the entire face thoroughly before 
fanning-, it to prevent chapping-. Apply magnesia or 
powder either by rubbing the towel over the lump of 
magnesia and applying to the face or by using the 
powder puff. Lump magnesia is usually preferable, 
then wipe the powder all off from the face as it is 
■only applied to give it a smooth feeling and to pre- 
•vent a glossy appearance of the skin. 

This concludes the shave proper, but after setting 
the customer up in the chair complete your work by 
combing the hair, curling the mustache, if required, 
and such details as the customer may request. 

Many old barbers make the mistake of not using 
good judgment in combing. Observe the style your 
customer has been combed before, and try and comb 
the hair as nearly like it as possible. By studying 
these rules carefully much time can be saved in a 
term of schooling, but some study will be necessary 
•±o cret the full benefit of them. 

Thr Barbejrs' Manuai^. 35 



Skill in hair-cutting- is attained by a study of styles 
and by an opportunity for constant practice. No one 
can become a skillful hair-cutter without constant 
attention to the work and there must be an opportun- 
ity for constant practice. Here is where the greatest 
disadvantag-e is found in the old style barber shop 
apprenticeship. Men who pay for a g-ood hair-cut or 
a shave, naturally object to being- made subjects for 
a novice to practice upon, consequently the student 
who has no one to practice upon has no chance for 

It usually requires from two to three years to 
become proficient in this work. However, the same 
thing- can be learned in two or three months with the 
proper opportunities before you. No one can learn 
this work or any part of it by seeing- it done. It is 
necessary to apply yourself to this work constantly 
until you have thoroug-hly mastered the different 
styles, and the art of handling- the shears and comb 
have become a second nature to you. There can be 
as much genius displayed in this work as in the work 
of the sculptor or the painter. Expression can be 
displayed on the back of the head as well as in the 
face. As the sculptor moulds here and there for 


Thk Barbers' Manuai^. 


The Barbbrs' Manual. 37 

expression and character, so a slig-ht touch with the 
shears and comb in the proper place, will display 
g-raceful or awkward outlines. It is the barber, but 
not the clothes, that makes the man. No amount of 
reading- or study will reveal this art, althoug-h you 
will be helped by sug-g-estions and examples per- 
formed before you. Observe closely the fashion 
plates and directions that follow. 

ProbabU^ the most simple of all hair-cuts is the 
'•full crown." This style is ordinarily intended for 
boys from ten to fifteen years old, but should be g-iven 
whenever requested. 

It is made by using- the clippers up to the crown of 
the head, thus leavings only the top of the head un- 
dipped. Some experience is necessary in order to 
handle clippers properly. The g-reatest difficulty will 
be in allowing- the handles the full stroke, for the 
apprentice, in nearly-every instance, cramps his hand 
and thereby allows the machine onh' about half of 
its action. Be sure that it is g-iven the full stroke to 
prevent clog-ging- of the hair. 

After the clipper work is completed, then trim the 
edg-e which remains, after the use of the machine, -so 
that it is impossible to. see how hig-h the clippers were 
used. After the edg-es have been evenly trimmed, 
cut the top of the hair between the fing-ers as shown 
in the diagram. With this style hair must be left 
long-est in front, and should g-radually taper down to 


The Barbers' Manuaj,. 

the short hair at the crown and on the sides of the 

In making the outlines of the hair-cut, which is 

the last and most noticeable part of your work, care 
must be taken to make the lines graceful. You 
should begin at the side of the head and in front t'f 

Thk Barbers' Manual. 39 

the ear and cut either straig-ht down the back of the 
neck, on each side, or cut round as the customer 
desires. Always ask 3'our customer which style he 
prefers. The outline made b3^ the points of the 
shears sig-nifies the line to which you should shave, 
and this outline should be made true and even. 


For the style known as the half crown cut, clip- 
pers should be used only half way to the crown of the 
head or a little above the ears. The line left by the 
clippers should be straight around and should not be 
allowed to run down at the back of the head, as many 
barbers do with this style cif cut. After completing- 
the clipper work, trim the remaining- edg-es in the 
same manner as in the full crown cut, g-iving- a grad- 
ual taper to the hair, and so cutting out the clipper 
mark that it cannot be noticed how high the clippers 
were used. The top of the hair should be cut in the 
same manner as in the crown cut, but the proper pro- 
portion must be maintained. It will be necessary to 
leave the hair a little longer than in the full crown 
cut. The usual mistake in this style is in leaving 
the hair too bunchy- at the crown making it appear as 
though a wig had been placed on top of the head. 
Study the fashion plate for this style. 


The style that is known as the trim may be divided 
into three lengths, the short, the medium and the 


The Barbers' Manual 


The Barber.s' Manuai.. 41 

long trims. All are cut the same, but the length of 
hair should be g-uag-ed according- to the customer's 
taste. For this style, clippers are not used at all. 

It is best to begin on a side of the head and not at 
the back as many barbers do. The advantage of 
beginning on a side and working around is, that it 
saves time and extra work. Hair should always be 
shortest at the lower edge and gradually taper to the 
longer hair at the crown of the head. 

The ordinary or medium length trim is the style 
worn by most men nowadays, and in this cut it is 
necessary to become the most proficient. Cut with 
the shears and comb about two-thirds of the way to 
the crown. After you have gone clear around the 
head, begin where you left off with the shears and 
comb, and cut through the fingers from the front 
toward the back. Care should be taken not to get the 
hair too short at the crown. This is apt to happen 
unless you take particular pains to avoid it. After 
having gone over the top of the head do not make the 
mistake of cutting around the forehead the same as 
with the woman's bangs. The ends of the hair at 
the forehead should only be trimmed slightly, comb 
all the hair to one side. This will allow the ends of 
the hair to remain in the position the hair will be 
when parted. Trim both sides alike so that the hair 
can be parted anywhere without leaving ragged edges 
on either side. It is often the case that barbers part 
the hair before trimming the ends. Avoid making 

42 Thk Barbkks' Manual. 

this mistake, for if both sides are not trimmed exactly 
alike, the next time the hair is parted, if it is not 
parted in exactly the same place, ragfg-ed ends will 
appear on one side or the other. In making- the out- 
line, you will find the work for this style of a hair- 
cut more difficult than with the crown or half crown 

coi.le;ge cut. 

Comb the hair from the crown evenly in all direc- 
tions making a false crown at the center of the head. 
Trim the lower part of the hair the same as outlining- 
for the ordinary or medium trim. Keep combing and 
trimming- the edge until it is perfectl_Y even, and 
shows no rag-g-ed edge. This will allow the hair, as it 
continues to grow, to have a massive or bulky appear- 
ance and will leave it round and smooth with no 
marks of the shears to show. By trimming the lower 
edges you shorten the hair underneath, giving the 
effects as shown in the cuts on pages 43 and 44. 

It may be trimmed with the English bang as 
shown in the side view or as the ordinar3' trim. The 
hair, when combed straight down from the forehead, 
must be trimmed even with the lower edge. 


This style is little worn now, but no barber can 
call himself proticient without having mastered this 
particular style. There was a time when it was con- 

Thk Barbkrs' Manual. 




The Barbkrs' Manual. 

coIvI^egb; cut — back view. 

The Bakkhks' Manual. 45 

sidered the most difficult of all cuts, but it is now- 
considered as easy as any. The hair should be clipped 
the same as in the crown cut, then wet the brush 
and comb the hair straig-ht up, by using- the comb 
just ahead of the brush. This will prevent the hair 
from laying- down fiat and will put it in a proper 
position to be trimmed. Trim the edg-es left by the 
clippers, but avoid g-etting- deep into the hair. 

After the edg-es are trimmed on both sides, start 
directly in the middle in front, and work back. In 
this way you have a better line to be g-uided by for 
the balance of the trim. Your mistake will be in 
trimming- off too much of the sides, thereby making- 
it round. See that the hair has a g-radual slope from 
the front back to the crown. Use the same care in 
outlining- as with the other styles. 

■46 The Barbers' Manual. 



In most cases, the beard is trimmed short, using- 
the clippers to the corner of the mouth, leaving- only 
the chin undipped. Next trim with the shears, then 
comb the edge of the beard which remains after the 
use of the clipper and gradually work to a point, fun- 
nel shaped at the point of the chin. Great care must 
be taken to have the work smooth underneath the 
chin, so that the beard, when the head is in an up- 
right position will show no ragged edges at the bot- 
tom. You should always be cautious about trimming 
near the edge of the underlip, as the hair usually 
grows thin on that part of the face, and a very little 
trimming will show the bare spots. 

In order to have the point exactly in the center it 
is necessary' to trim on both sides, first on the one 
and then on the other, and you must not finish one 
side before beginning on the other. In case the cus- 
tomer does not want the side of the face and neck 
clipped, trim closely with the shears, leaving the 
same length of beard and giving no proportion until 
you reach the corner of the mouth, then trim it to a 
point the same as when clippers are used. This is a 

The B.vk burs' Manuai,. 



48 The Barbeks' Manual. 

business or 'professional man's beard trim, often 
called the "Napoleon," and you should be cautious in 
adopting it for the minister or elderh' g-entlemen. 


This st34e of beard is little worn nowada3's, but 
those who possess a parted beard like those who wear 
the pompadour hair-cut. are particular about its 
appearance. It is one of the most difficult trims in 
the barber business. 

The beard should first be parted in the center and 
combed out toward each side. The hair should then 
be trimmed closely on the neck either with the shears 
or with the clippers, and gradually taper to the longer 
hair on the sides of the face. This beard is directly 
opposite to the Van Dyke and is meant to broaden 
the expression of the face and not to lengthen it. 

The beard on the side of the face should usually 
be trimmed down until it is about half an inch long 
until near the chin, where it should grow longer as in 
the cut. In any style of beard trim, care must be 
taken to have the hair trimmed closely on the neck. 
More work is necessary on this style of trim than the 
ordinary' hair-cut, and this is a part of the work that 
you receive the least practice on. Few barbers are 
expert beard trimmers. The College offers a splen- 
did opportunity' for practice in this work as well as 
all others. 

Thk Bakbkrs' Manuai^. 



50 The Bakbkks' Manuai,. 


There are many other styles of wearing- the beard 
such as the "Mutton Chops," chin whiskers, etc No 
skill is required in trimming- these, and the only care 
necessary must he displayed in blocking- out a new 
beard, g-etting- both sides even and always following- 
the directions of 3'^our customer as there are as many 
styles in blocking- out whiskers as you have custom- 
ers to wait upon . 

The Barbkks' Manuai,. 




^ There are various methods of shampooing-, al- 

j thoug-h, all are practically the same in the end. The 

only difference being- in the substance or material 

used in g-iving- the shampoo. The material most fav- 

I ored now is shampoo jelly. It is a substance which 

err. -^ 

foams readily, is mild, cleansing-, and healthful to 
the scalp. 

In preparing- for the shampoo, j^lace a towel above 
the hair-cloth, both in front and back, to prevent 
wetting- the customer's collar and clothes. About a 

52 The Barbkks' Manual. 

thimbleful of the shampoo jelly is sufficient for an 
ordinary shampoo. Take the shampoo jelly in the 
left hand and the water bottle in the rig-ht hand, apply 
water and rub the shampoo into the hair. This pro- 
duces a light lather and when sufficient water has been 
used to chang-e the jelly to a lather, set the bottle down 
and rub with both hands as in cut. Avoid rubbing with 
both hands in the same direction at the same time as 
this would be uncomfortable for the customer. I^et 
each hand operate opposite to the other. Rub with 
the balls of the lingers and do not scratch the scalp 
with the finger nails. Rub hard or light as suits the 
customer, usually rubbing the scalp about five or ten 
minutes, then prepare the shampoo stand and bowl. 

Regulate the temperature of the water before get- 
ting your customer over the shampoo bowl. Where 
you have no water connections procure a sufficient 
amount of water at the proper temperature, ( luke 
warm ) in some convenient dish in order to pour over 
the head. When everything is in readiness, have 
your step from the chair to the shampoo 
stand, and force him to lean over far enough so that 
the water will not rundown his neck, while washing 
the lather from the head. See that the soap is thor- 
oughly rinsed from the hair and that the scalp is well 
cleansed. Avoid letting your customer raise his head 
up as soon as you have completed pouringf on water 
or using the spray. D Shake thC' water^out'of the hair 
as much as possible before using the towels, then dry 

The Bakkkrs' Manuai,. 53 

the hair enoug-h so the water will not run down the 
neck when the customer raises his head up. Be care- 
ful not to g-et lather in the customer's eyes. 

After the face has been wiped, place your cus- 
tomer again in the chair and dry the hair thoroug-hly 
with the towel. In drying the hair do not place the 
towel over the head in such a way that the ends will 
fly around in the customer's face or eyes. Handle 
the towel so that the ends will be kept at the back of 
the head instead of in the face. Towels without 
fringe are preferable. The size of the towels should 
be r6x28 inches. This is the most convenient size 
for shaving or shampooing. Do not try to dry the 
hair by fanning as this leaves the hair stiff and 
harsh. A-lways rub until thoroughly dry, thereby 
making it light, loose and fluffy. 


For an &gg shampoo use a fresh egg, break the 
end sufficiently to allow the white to come out a little 
at a time and rub thoroughly through the hair. After 
rubbing the head well the same as with the shampoo 
jelly, wash the hair out the same as in the ordinary 
shampoo, but apply a little soap or jelly when you 
are rinsing the hair. 

An egg shampoo is supposed to leave the hair in a 
better condition than any other kind of a shampoo. 


Thr Barbrrs' Manual 

hair, single over the comb as in cut. Where the hair 
is long", sing-e over the fing-ers the same as in cutting- 
long- hair. This work is very simple after you have 

learned to trim, still it is a very important and neces- 
sary qualification for the barber. The most pains 
should be taken around the crown and forehead as 
these are the parts where the hair is apt to fall out 

The Barbers' Manual. 57 

and needs the most streng-theiiing-. In sing-eing- the 
back of the neck, use the comb above the blaze to 
prevent the fire from running- up and catching- the 
hair above the singer. This is the only difificult part 
of sing-eing. 


The different formulas and preparations for dye- 
inj> hair are numerous, althoug^h, there is but one 
kind used to any extent by the barber. This is 
called Dye No. 1 and No. 2, called so from the fact 
that it is in two parts or two bottles labelled No. 1 
and 2. This is the only instantaneous dye we have 
and for this reason is the one preferred by the bar- 
ber. It is seldom used in dyeing- the entire hair or 
whiskers, but is the universal application for the 
mustache. Dyeing- the mustache is but little prac- 
ticed nowadays, but it is very important that the 
barber should know how, for serving customers with 
this part of the work leads to other trade. 

In dyeing-, no matter what kind of dye is used, 
first thoroughly clean the hair or mustache. Sea- 
foam is the best to use for this purpose as it dries 
quickest. After the hair is thoroug-hly cleaned apply 
No. 1, either with the fing-ers or tooth brush. No. 1 sim- 
ply prepares the hair for the dye and does not color or 
affect the akin. After drying No. 1 by fanning- (not 

60 The Barbkks' MANURf,. 


Too often the mistake is made by beg-in ners in 
this work, who think they will obtain more practice 
and as g"ood profits, by cutting- prices. No greater 
error could be made and the writer would advise any 
man contemplating- this profession as a life work to 
abandon the idea entirely if the reg-ulation prices 
cannot be had. Neari3^ any line of day labor will be 
found as lucrative as cheap barber work, if not quite 
as easy. Your time and money spent in masterihg^ 
this profession is putting- you in possession of a ser- 
viceable trade and your place cannot be filled by the 
ordinary laborer. It is one that commands and 
receives g-ood prices for g-ood services, and no one 
will be benefitted bj' inferior work at cut rates. 

The average prices for barbering- are as follows: 

Hair-cutting, 25c; Beard Trimming. 25c; 

Honing Razors. . . 25c; Shampoo 25c; 

Singe 25c: Mustache Dye . . . 25c; 

Shave 10c; Sea-foam 10c. 

Dyeing the entire head of hair' should be charged 
for according to the length of the hair and material 
required for doing it, usually from $1.00 to $2.00 it* 
the regulation price for hair or whiskers. 

In giving a shave where it is requested that the 
back of the neck be shaved it is usually customary to 
charge five cents extra. For these prices the best 
brands of cosmetics should be used. 

The Bakbkks" Manual. 61 


Do not g-o out looking- for employment at this 
work without a clean shave, clean linen, and a shine. 
Your personal appearance has as much to do with hold- 
ing- positions as your work itself. 

Neatness. Careful work. Politeness to custom- 
ers. Speed comes by practice. Never hurry unless 
requested to. Do not seek to increase trade by cut- 
ting prices. Lady hairdressing- is an accomplishment 
no barber can afford to be without. A well reg-ulated 
barber shop should have the air of a parlor and its 
workmen the courtesy of a reception committee. 

A very essential thing- of the barber profession is 
Dermatolog-y, a science which deals with the treat- 
ment of hair, scalp and skin diseases. A full course 
of lectures delivered to the students of our Barber 
College by Dr. B. Franklin Tolson, L. L. B., M. D., 
is given in our Ready Reference Guide which also 
contains eighty select formulas for all cosmetics used 
in the barber shop. Price, 25c. 

It is customary to leave a razor or some security 
for your position if you are not immediately ready to 
go to work. After securing the position it will 
always be expected of you to keep work-stand, chair 
and glass neatly arranged and clean. A barber is 
not usually expected to take care of the shop further 
than this, although in small places, where there are 
no porters, it is customary for the barber to help care 
for the shop. 


62 The Barbers' I 

014 084 325 8 | 


HAIR TONIC (baldness.) 

Tinct. capsium 2 dr. • 

Water ammonia ( lo per cent).. . i oz 

Pilocarpine hydrochlorate 5 gr- 

Colog-ne 3 oz 

Use on scalp twice a day. 


Tr. Cantharides 4 dr 

Iviq. Amnion ia 4 dr 

Rose water 2 oz 

Glycerine 4 oz 

Bay Rum lo oz 


Resorcin 5 to lo part 

Castor oil 45 part 

Alcohol 150 part 

Balsam of Peru . 0.5 part 

Rub in daily with a piece of flannel. 

No. I. 

Gallic acid 20 gr 

Alcohol 5 dr 

Water 2 dr 

No. 2. 

Silver nitrate i di 

Ammonia 3 di 

Gum arable 30 g"r 

Water 6 dr 

Dissolve the silver nitrate in the ammonia 
gum arable in the water. Then mix.